Grandpa Hulk’s home made armadillo trap borrows heavily from features previously found in a trap designed by old Doc Mockford who was a veterinarian in Greenville, Texas in the mid nineteen hundreds. His design has spread across the country over the last 60 years and it remains the most effective armadillo trap you can find.
Image 1 is the basic box and gravity powered doors.
The new redesigned trigger mechanism and top will be added later, but it is only a slight improvement on Doc’s original, which consisted of a notched dowel rod with twine attached and threaded through pulleys hung from a canopy framework. The notched dowel was pulled through a hole in the top of the trap and “caught” on the ledge of the hole.
When Mr. Armadillo bumbled through the trap, which appeared to him as a pleasant tunnel with open ends, he would bump into the dowel rod, causing it to dislodge from the hole and the weight of the door would bring them crashing down to seal each end of the box, trapping the armored mammal inside to await its dreary fate.
The genius of the trap was in its simplicity and the ability to take advantage of the armadillo’s propensity to follow along obstacles instead of traveling over or under them. The trap needs no bait, you simply staked some lawn edging or a few feet of boards on edge to “funnel” the critter into the trap from either end. An armadillo would come to the edge of these obstacles and turn and follow along it, either into or away from the trap. With the random burrowing and rooting habits of the armadillo, even at a fifty percent success rate for each time it happened to blunder into the boards, he was bound to get funneled into the trap sooner or later over the course of a single night.
The new trigger will be even simpler, consisting of the hole in the top, two small springs, two sticks whose ends will hold the doors open until the unsuspecting creature steps onto a trigger plate in the interior center of the trap, which will result in the withdrawal of a dowel rod from the top hole which holds the spring loaded sticks apart.
As the sticks draw towards each other their ends will retract from the bottom edges of the doors, allowing them to fall down into their closed position.
Stay tuned, actual photographs and more articles are on their way as this trap is built and deployed. Hopefully even photos of our first captive will be forthcoming.
Design image created by Timothy Frazier with Google’s free 3d CAD program, Sketchup.